Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Thursday announced new case management guidelines for the treatment and discharge of COVID-19 patients.
The Director-General, NCDC Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, made the announcement at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
He said that the third version of the guideline was released following new science emerging about the duration of infectivity of individual patients.
According to him, the two critical groups of patient covered in the guidelines are the symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.
“The symptomatic patients will now be discharged at least 10 days after symptom onset and at least three days without symptoms while asymptomatic patients can be discharged 14 days after the first PCR positive test.
“We no longer have to wait for a negative test to discharge, with confidence that you can go home and you are no longer infective or putting family or friends at risk. If your symptoms lasts for longer, we will wait while managing,” he said.
Ihekweazu, while noting that physicians are hesitant about the new guidelines, assured them that the new guideline is effective.
“So we are confident on the impact if this; change is difficult, because we have been saying you have to have a negative test, so even though we have published this result, physicians are still hesitating to use then, but I assure everyone managing cases that 14 days…,” he added.
The NCDC DG said that the centre had also removed the use of anti-virals like Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, from its treatment guidelines.
According to him, the anti-virals will now be used only on trials and also casually, because its saftey is uncertain.
“The treatment protocol remains to manage symptoms, pre-existing conditions, supplemental oxygen therapy to different extents, treatment of bacterial infections and ensuring that patients are well nourished and well hydrated,” he said.